YMCA Canada

April 26, 2016 10:10 ET

44% of Parents Struggle to Find Time to Prioritize Their Families' Health

The 2016 YMCA Healthy Kids Survey Results Spark the YMCA to Call on Canadian Parents to Prioritize Their Families' Health

TORONTO, ON --(Marketwired - April 26, 2016) - The 2016 YMCA Healthy Kids Survey reveals that Canadian parents acknowledge there are barriers keeping them from leading a healthy active lifestyle, including: a lack of time (44%), work/life balance (34%) and energy or motivation (28%).

According to the Obesity Report in Canada1, about one in three (33%) children between the ages of five and 17 are overweight or obese. With an increase in childhood obesity rates, leading a healthy, active lifestyle should be a family priority driven by parents.

When it comes to their children's healthy development, parents are most concerned about their children's mental/emotional health (50%) followed by physical (28%) and social health (22%).

The YMCA believes health is holistic and interconnected and the organization approaches it from a body, mind and spirit framework. It is the power of community found through activity together and a supportive network that helps people achieve greater health, in every way. For children, participation in organized, summer activities helps them make new friends giving them a sense of belonging and confidence which boosts their energy levels and leads to more activity with their new pals.

"We know that planning is a very important part of a healthy lifestyle," said Laura Palmer-Korn, President & CEO (Acting), YMCA Canada. "Yet 75% of parents have not yet enrolled their kids in programs for the summer which is fast approaching. Of greater concern is the fact that 39% do not intend to sign their children up for programs over the summer, a time when the risk of learning loss, boredom and disengagement are high."

On May 1st, YMCA Healthy Kids Day will give parents a chance to prioritize their family's health. Many YMCA centres across Canada will open their doors for free to help local families discover how simple and fun healthy living can be with the YMCA as their partner.

Continuing to celebrate 125 years of basketball in Canada and to help get kids excited about physical activity, YMCA Canada has once again partnered with the Jr. NBA. On YMCA Healthy Kids Day (May 1, 2016) youth can participate in Jr. NBA clinics offered at select YMCA locations, including: YMCA of Greater Vancouver, YMCA of Northern Alberta, YMCA Calgary, YMCA of Regina, YMCA of Greater Toronto, YMCA-YWCA of National Capital Region, YMCA of Greater Halifax-Dartmouth.

As the school year comes to an end, Healthy Kids Day is the perfect time to research and enroll children in activities to help them develop new knowledge or skills, improve their overall health, take a break from technology and make new friends -- all top objectives for Canadian parents seeking summer activities for their kids.

To find a local Healthy Kids Day event, visit

About YMCAs in Canada

The YMCA is one of Canada's longest standing and largest charities, serving more than 2.1 million people annually, with a special focus on children, teens and young adults. Our mandate is to advance the health and well-being of Canadians in body, mind and spirit. Across the country, YMCA Member Associations are providing vital community services that have a positive impact on some of Canada's most pressing social issues -- from chronic disease to unemployment, social isolation, poverty, inequality and more.

We offer wrap around programs that help Canadians become physically active, better connected to their communities, and equipped with the skills needed to achieve success in work and life. By addressing the social determinants of health, we are playing an essential role in the building of a healthier Canada today and for generations to come. For more information, please visit

About the polling data: 2016 YMCA Healthy Kids Survey

From March 14th to April 7th, 2016 an online survey was conducted among 906 randomly selected Canadian parents of children ages 17 and younger who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error -- which measures sampling variability -- is +/- 3.3%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to education, age, gender and region (and in Quebec, language) Census data. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

1 Report of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, March 2016.

Image Available:
Image Available:

Contact Information